End of the Pier Show


The Arcade of the Demagogue welcomes you,

here everything has been gambled away

and is beautiful–

his slogans bolted on, one after the other,

gilded with fools’ gold,

his rusted tongue a helter-skelter churning out

fresh lies. Welcome to the End

of the Pier show–this is your Weimar Republic intro,

where automatic weapons are given out

for shooting ducks, no questions asked.

Coconuts shied, good intentions discarded and spiked,

a democracy gone feral,

and the frightened starlings tweet 

as they swoop over the skeletal roof of a once glorious

theatre now little more than

a seedy cinema showing newsreel

propaganda on a loop.

The Demagogue’s megaphone din carries on

regardless beneath the watchful drones.

The day-trippers wear strange faces,

fear and suspicion sunken inside their eyeballs

as they peer through the café window

at the boiled lobster man in a pinstripe suit

eating his victory breakfast of champagne and kippers,

smug, lop-sided smiles all round, as if that was the objective of it all.

Soon the angry Beltane fires will flare up

the rotten piles and consume

this warped structure from end to end.

And at the pinnacle of the weather-beaten dome,

a brittle crown will eventually crumble

and fall into churning grey waters,

its fragments floating deep down to settle

on the cracked bedrock, to be adorned with barnacles

for centuries to come.

End of the Pier Show

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